Food & function

A grape seed extract increases active glucagon-like peptide-1 levels after an oral glucose load in rats.

PMID 25088664


We have previously reported that procyanidins, a class of flavonoids, improve glycemia and exert an incretin-like effect, which was linked to their proven inhibitory effect on the dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 (DPP4) activity. However, their actual effect on incretin levels has not been reported yet. Therefore, in the present study we have evaluated whether a grape seed extract enriched in procyanidins (GSPE) modulates plasma incretin levels and attempted to determine the mechanisms involved. An acute GSPE treatment in healthy Wistar female rats prior to an oral glucose load induced an increase in plasma active glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which was accompanied by an increase in the plasma insulin/glucose ratio and a simultaneous decrease in glucose levels. In agreement with our previous studies, the intestinal DPP4 activity was inhibited by the GSPE treatment. We have also assayed in vitro whether this inhibition occurs in inner intestinal tissues close to GLP-1-producing cells, such as the endothelium of the capillaries. We have found that the main compounds absorbed by intestinal CaCo-2 cells after an acute treatment with GSPE are catechin, epicatechin, B2 dimer and gallic acid, and that they inhibit the DPP4 activity in endothelial HUVEC cells in an additive way. Moreover, an increase in plasma total GLP-1 levels was found, suggesting an increase in GLP-1 secretion. In conclusion, our results show that GSPE improves glycemia through its action on GLP-1 secretion and on the inhibition of the inner intestinal DPP4 activity, leading to an increase in active GLP-1 levels, which, in turn, may affect the insulin release.